Further cuts to police spending

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Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Government cuts are forcing Suffolk Police to find another £16.4million in savings over the next four years and will see a reduction in police officers county-wide.

In a second round of cuts, the force will have to reduce its expenditure by 13 per cent, with £10million in savings having already been identified.

A spokesman for Suffolk Police said: “Savings will be achieved through continued collaboration with partners and Norfolk Constabulary and through a programme of change focussed purely on Suffolk.

“This will involve reductions in the establishment and extensive work to increase efficiency by harnessing new technology, strengthening partnerships and undergoing a radical service redesign so that the constabulary can continue to keep people safe.

“Suffolk Constabulary is one of the lowest-cost forces in England and Wales, spending 87 per cent of its budget on people and the remaining 13 per cent on non-pay costs.

“It is therefore inevitable that the organisation will need to become smaller to make the savings required.

“The chief constable has confirmed that police officer and staff posts will be reduced. Initial projections suggest, as part of phase one, the number of police officer posts will reduce by up to 83 over the next two years.”

The reductions will come from the natural turnover of staff and realignment of some posts.

“There is no doubt that this is a challenging time for policing nationally,” said Chief Constable Douglas Paxton.

“We are already a low-cost force, providing good value for money for our communities.”